Student Scholarships

At the end of each academic year, Music Director Curtis Gaesser is honored to award several scholarships to graduating seniors in recognition of their achievements in music education, citizenship, leadership and/or work ethic.  We are immensely grateful for the to the family members, loved ones and generous supporters of excellence in music education who fund the scholarships listed below.  Each scholarship was created in the memory of former students and/or supporters of music and music education at Folsom High School.  We are proud to recognize the student recipients of these scholarships and humbled to honor the lives and legacies of Nancy Charlesworth, Jimmie Lowder and Dave Schetter, in whose names the scholarships are awarded.



The Nancy Charlesworth Memorial Scholarship


2017-2018:  Nestor Iwanojko

"Having based my entire life around music I don’t intend to stop studying it for the rest of my life. This fall I will start a major in mathematics and a minor in music at Seattle University and will continue to play violin and piano in college ensembles and personal projects. I hope to someday find a job related to mathematics, and be a musician on the side recording my music and playing with others like me. Through the Folsom High School music program I learned how to work with other musicians whether we had the same idea or two contradicting ideas. I improved my skills as a violinist and vocalist in areas I could have never imagined I could work in, but most importantly the high performance rate and the competitions helped me battle my stage fright and eventually forget the people watching me and focus on enjoying the music and people I am playing it with."

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2016-2017:  Hank Allen-Barfield and Brendan Sick
2015-2016:  James Olpin
2014-2015:  Jake Augustine and Sam Bailey
2013-2014:  Jeff Gallagher and Trent Grossfeld
2012-2013:  Jonathan Barrows and Molly Redfield
2011-2012:   Austin Gaesser and Mitch Wersky
2010-2011:  Lynsey Carpenter
2009-2010:  David Allred
2008-2009:  Allexa Lopez
2007-2008:  K. Boyce
2006-2007:  Laura Pelser and Leanna Pelser
2005-2006:  Kelsey Iverson
2004-2005:  Colin Matthewson
2003-2004:  Matt Dorais
2002-2003:  Jason Wood
2001-2002:  Joe Carlson
2000-2001:  Laura Crook
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The Jimmie Lowder Scholarship Memorial Fund

In memory of Jimmie Lowder, 19 years old, of Chico and Folsom, California, who passed away in a tragic accident in Chico on November 15, 2013. Jimmie was born on December 29, 1993 and raised in Folsom, California. Jimmie was a Folsom Music alumni and graduated from Folsom High School in June 2012 and attended California State University, Chico.  He was the fourth child to his loving parents, Mark and Judy Lowder and three sisters, Sarah, Janna, and Jocelyn.  At the request of Jimmie's family, we established the Jimmie Lowder Scholarship Memorial Fund.  The fund provides scholarships for excellence in music to select graduating Folsom High School music students.


2017-2018:  Nathan Felde
2016-2017:  Victoria Anyanwu, Ashley Bussard and Annie Strombom
2015-2016:  Hailey Levea and Cole Wersky
2014-2015:  Thomas Garcia, Alex Richardson and Victor Wei
2013-2014:  Brett Dudley and Aravind Giduturi
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The David G. Schetter Memorial Jazz Scholarship


2017-2018:  Joel Bickel and Anders Swanson

Joel Bickel is a classical and jazz bassist who played in Folsom High’s Downbeat Award winning Jazz Band, Jazz Choir, and Jazz Combo from 2015 to 2018. As a freshman he was the principal bassist of California All-State Symphony Orchestra and throughout his high school career has also performed with the Folsom Symphony, Sacramento Youth Symphony, Folsom Lake Youth Chamber Orchestra, and Rolling Hills Christian Church Worship Band. 

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Joel's biggest musical inspiration is Mr. Curtis Gaesser who has not only provided Joel, but all of his peers the unforgettable opportunities of playing at the Monterey Jazz Festival, meeting critically acclaimed musicians Victor Wooten, Sean Jones, John Daversa, and James Morrison, and enriching the only classroom environment where students are truly free to express themselves. Joel couldn’t have come up with his life philosophy that “we all are instruments in a symphony of life” without the commitment, dedication, passion, and generosity of the FHS Music Boosters and the Gaesser family. This coming September, Joel will be attending UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music in pursuit of a double major in both Music Education and Music Performance and hopes to become a music teacher in order to give back all that he has learned and experienced from those who have taught and inspired him the most.

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Anders Swanson is attending the University of Miami Frost School of Music as an undergraduate jazz studies major & pre-med student.  Anders shared the following regarding his goals and future aspirations:  "As I'm not entirely sure of what I would like to do as a career at this point, but for now I am looking towards continuing onto medical school and becoming a doctor."  

"I'm super thankful for the FHS music program which taught me invaluable skills such as discipline, being a team player, staying committed no matter what role you may play, always being prepared, and most importantly, what it takes to rise above typical standards and be among the best of the best, which I believe is exactly what Folsom jazz is known for doing every single year.  Music won't be the same without you, Mr. Gaesser. Once again, thank you for impacting my life in such an incredible way and hope to see you again soon."  Anders

2016-2017:  Chetan Giduturi, Jake Hamzawi, Joseph Lombardi, Sara Runyan and Veola Sun



The FHS Music Booster Scholarship


2017-2018:  James Lee